Pittsburgh Newborn Session: Real Moments = True Beauty

I’d like to be more like this mama—what I admire about her most is how at ease she is in her own skin. This session took place in their home a few weeks after this sweet bundle was born. A time in life when it’s easy to feel insecure or crazed from a lack of sleep and all of the anxieties that come with caring for a tiny baby. And she and her husband had just celebrated their fifth anniversary over dinner out the night before. How easy it would have been to let a special occasion like that slip by shortly after bringing their second son home? But this darling boy did great and barely fussed for his grandma while mommy and daddy got away for a bit to celebrate.

knit with love

baby in Moses bassinet

I just want to note that the images from this session have not been retouched. When I returned to work over a year ago (after a two-year break to focus on my family’s needs), I had a strong conviction to drop the retouching and emphasize natural beauty. So I changed my branding and session structure and I hope you agree that real moments like these are truly beautiful. My conviction came from looking back at photos of my own babies and regretting the retouching because it felt so unnatural.

bright-eyed baby

We sat in her bedroom by the window with gorgeous morning light and she held her son in hopes he’d fall asleep for a few photos.

sweetly sleeping

And after a few minutes he did fall asleep.

sleepy baby

She sure did make that look easy, but the clicks of my camera were stirring him. That happens a lot with a noisy shutter clicking away.

mama soothes her baby

I love this set of black and whites with dad and big brother.

doting mom and dad

big brother looking over baby

And we finished our session with some shots just outside their front door. What a lovely family! Blessings to you all!

outside their front door

From the Everyday to the Time-Stands-Still Moments

When my friend asked me to come and photograph the reuniting of her family after her husband’s deployment, I knew I was being invited into an emotional and very personal victory in the life of her family, one that represents overcoming incredible sacrifice and the sheer joy of embracing after a long separation.

lifestyle portrait

My friend is like no other woman I know. She is strong and fearless—and while I know that no matter how strong she is, what she has done over the past 10 months while her husband was away is really hard. She cared for their three children, gave birth to their fourth, ran a household and just didn’t slow down the entire time her husband was serving our country overseas.

super mom

I just have to note, their baby’s onesie reads, “I’ve waited my whole life to meet my daddy.”

waiting for daddy

The kids were such troopers waiting for their daddy, even with a one-hour flight delay.

He's here!

This is their first sight of his bus that shuttled the soldiers in from the tarmac.

At last, daddy's home!

The kids ran when their mom said, “there he is!” and there was some confusion on where he was coming from, but they eventually all found one another.

a soldier meeting his baby

And here’s where daddy gets to meet his baby girl for the first time. I’ll just share the rest of these because my eyes tear up every time.

Looking at her daddy face-to-face

their second "first kiss"

snuggles

teary-eyed embrace

Going home together

This day couldn’t be happier and I’m so moved with thanks and awe at what this soldier and his family have done.